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May 6, 2011 > Red, yellow, blue-which color should I choose?

Red, yellow, blue-which color should I choose?

Choosing colors is by far the most discussed topic with my design clients. Everyone wants to know which color will work best in their home. Colors have a distinct effect on all of us; being aware of how colors make you feel can be of great help when decorating your home. How do you feel when you walk into a red room? How about a green room? It is not a coincidence, for example, that many hospitals use green on the walls to help relax their patients. And have you noticed the colors red and orange in many restaurants? Restaurant designers know that those colors are appetite stimulants. Let's explore the fascinating subject of color psychology and how it applies to home decor.

Red... signals excitement and sexuality. In addition to stimulating appetites, red can even improve your sense of smell as well as cause other physiological responses such as increased heart rate and rapid breathing. Red rooms are dramatic and provocative. Used as an accent color, red can provide a much needed jolt of energy and life. Imagine a neutral tan and cream living room with a vase of bright red flowers. Or a piece of artwork with bold red strokes. Beautiful! Other energetic colors in the red family are fuchsia and magenta. If those are too intense for you, try burgundy, which is rich and elegant, or brick red, which is earthy and warm.

Orange... is associated with warmth and contentment. Like red, orange is also an appetite stimulant. In its pure form, orange is playful and whimsical. A very friendly, energetic color, use orange in family rooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and kids' rooms. More sophisticated colors in the orange family are copper and terra cotta. For a really interesting color combination, try pairing copper with purple. Terra cotta looks terrific paired with teal or cobalt blue.

Yellow... is the ideal color for dark or dreary rooms, and people often love yellow kitchens. One of my favorite yellows is Kelly Moore's Clean Canvas. It is the color of my own kitchen. Yellow is cheerful, friendly and outgoing. Yellows can be familiar and comforting, reminding us of beautiful sunsets and wheat fields. Gold, an elegant member of the yellow family, can add formality, prestige and opulence to a room. For a very sophisticated look, pair gold with black or navy.

Green... is very popular in decorating. Because of its ties to nature, green is a most restful color and is successfully paired with a wide variety of other colors. I consider it a "neutral" because it works so well with so many accent colors. Dark green is masculine and traditional. Earthy greens like moss and sage are quiet and soothing. Try pairing sage green with purple, and yellow-green with coral. Give a room a jolt with some lime green accents. named by most people as their favorite color. The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is calming and peaceful. Muted blue-gray is a wonderful bedroom color. Bright blues are energetic, vibrant and happy, while dark blues exude professionalism, conservatism and dependability. Business consultants often recommend wearing a navy blue suit to a job interview. Navy and white is a classic color combination that is very popular right now-try decorating a bedroom with a navy accent wall, crisp white trim, a navy and white patterned bedspread and white drapes.

Purple...combines the vibrancy of red and the tranquility of blue. Historically, purple has been the color of royalty, and it connotes wealth and luxury. Purple is also associated with the exotic and mystical. Red purple is sensual and exciting. Eggplant and plum are regal and elegant. Lavender is delicate and sweet. Dark purples can be combined successfully with gold, silver and green. Purple can add a unique touch to your rooms.

Anna Jacoby of Anna Jacoby Interiors is a local Interior Designer. Send your design questions to her at Call or fax her at 510-490-0379 or visit

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